End of Evangelical Church?

While doing follow-up research on the article A Christian World ViewI found a post titled The Coming Collapse of Evangelicalism by the late Michael Spencer — an evangelical pastor and blogger known also as The Internet Monk.

In my article I encouraged Christians to be politically active, but Spencer wrote in 2009 that political activism would result in the demise of the evangelical church within ten years (or by 2019). In his introduction Spencer wrote:

I believe that we are on the verge — within 10 years — of a major collapse of evangelical Christianity; a collapse that will follow the deterioration of the mainline Protestant world and that will fundamentally alter the religious and cultural environment in the West. I believe this evangelical collapse will happen with astonishing statistical speed; that within two generations of where we are now evangelicalism will be a house deserted of half its current occupants, leaving in its wake nothing that can revitalize evangelicals to their former “glory.”

Spencer had read Steven P. Miller’s book, The Age of Evangelicalism: America’s Born-Again Years, in which the author suggested that the church took a radical turn from preaching the Gospel to engaging the secular society in a high-stakes culture war. Though I take a different position it is something that I struggle with even now. Sincere Christians believe that the church can be more influential by being Christ-like rather than antagonistic.

The secular society has a built-in hostility towards Christianity which is only inflamed by direct confrontation. It is a lose-lose proposition for the church to set itself up as a moral watchdog as too many Christians are as morally flawed as their worldly friends. The culture revels in its sin, and has no inclination to change.

A pastor told of his homosexual brother who was dying of AIDS. Every day the pastor would sit at his brother’s side and read from the Bible. He would invite his brother to repent and accept Jesus Christ, but the brother would only look away.

The pastor decided to change tactics. On his daily visits he set aside the Bible and cleaned his dying brother’s apartment. Every day he would come and wash the dishes, do the laundry — even clean the vomit crusted toilet and bathroom floor. A short time later the dying brother repented and accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior; and he said something interesting:

“I didn’t repent because of what your Bible says about Christ … I repented because of how you lived Christ.”

Does that give you pause? It certainly does me. We have to at least understand what is the perception the world has of Christians. Friends, it is not good. For example, the world celebrates homosexuality. It doesn’t matter what the Bible says, or how well the church can present Scripture. What seems to matter most to the world is how we live our lives as disciples of Christ — to live out the peace and joy of Christ such that the world might take notice and say, “I want that peace and joy in my life.” Then, and only then, can a heart be prepared to hear the Gospel.

According to Spencer the evangelical church will lose membership and resources as it vainly strives to make itself relevant in a polarized culture that is increasingly hostile to both Christianity and conservatism. Though he doesn’t call himself a prophet he offered this prophetic insight:

Evangelicals have identified their movement with the culture war and with political conservatism. This was a mistake that will have brutal consequences. They are not only going to suffer in losing causes, they will be blamed as the primary movers of those causes. Evangelicals will become synonymous with those who oppose the direction of the culture in the next several decades. That opposition will be increasingly viewed as a threat, and there will be increasing pressure to consider evangelicals bad for America, bad for education, bad for children and bad for society.

The investment of evangelicals in the culture war will prove out to be one of the most costly mistakes in our history. The coming evangelical collapse will come about, largely, because our investment in moral, social and political issues has depleted our resources and exposed our weaknesses. We’re going to find out that being against gay marriage and rhetorically pro-life (yes, that’s what I said) will not make up for the fact that massive majorities of evangelicals can’t articulate the Gospel with any coherence and are believing in a cause more than a faith.

On that last point, Spencer believes a contributing factor in the demise of the evangelical church is that Christians are woefully ignorant of the Bible. Neither can they articulate nor defend the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The beneficiaries of this shifting paradigm are the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches which are witnessing an influx of Born Again Christians seeking tradition over reform. (Charismatic, Pentecostal and liberal Protestant churches will continue to thrive.)

With regards to the Orthodox church, Hank Hanegraaff (host of The Bible Answer Man and president of the Christian Research Institute) stunned the Christian community when he recently converted to the Orthodox church. Pastor John MacArthur made note of this in last Sunday’s sermon at Grace Church wherein he told the congregation that the Orthodox church, while it traces its roots back to the Apostles, does not uphold Sola Scriptura but accepts — as does the Romish church — both oral and written tradition. Of course, they cite 2 Thessalonians 2:15 in defense of this position.

So, too, the Orthodox church has a love affair with Mary which is inferred from John 19:26-27 where tradition says that Christ gave his mother to the church.

Though I am mystified by Hanegraaff’s conversion it does relate to what Spencer wrote in 2009. This is something we all have to wrestle with, but I do believe (at the very least) Christians should vote for political candidates who will do the least harm to the body of Christ. We have dual citizenship in the kingdom of God and in whatever nation we reside. To the extent that we can influence the culture we must remain faithful to our one true calling which is to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Copyright © 2017 Eternal Christ


One Nation Under God

Lord have mercy. How y’all doing? Observing the democratic process unfold is much like watching a butcher make sausage.

The problem is we are a divided nation — 60 million voters want America to adopt European socialism while 60 million others reject globalization otherwise known as the New World Order. But more importantly half the population rejects a Christian worldview, and seeks a secular, humanist utopia.

Every day for six months I prayed to the Lord that He would send His people to the polls en masse — that faithful, obedient, God-fearing voters would elect faithful, obedient, God-fearing candidates.

Having said that let me just add that I truly like Mike Pence.

A writer for the Washington Post was interviewed on London’s news channel. He said that as an openly gay, African-American he feared for America’s future.

Women’s groups are warning that Trump is going to take away their birth control. Bus loads of protesters are marching across the nation with cries that they are not being represented. At Trump Towers they shout, “Not our President!”

Is that a fact?

Real racism (or sexism) is to presume that only a woman can represent women … only a Hispanic can represent Latinos … only an African-American can represent black people …

A half century ago Detroit was home to the most affluent African-American population in the United States. A Republican was President. Today, according to the Brookings Institution, Detroit has the highest rate of poverty among the top 25 metropolitan cities in America. A Democrat has occupied the White House for the past eight years.

Let me just add that Barack Obama has been my President. I never once entertained a spurious thought that I would leave the country; and though I took exception when he said that America is not a Christian nation, well, he was right.

Did you hear about the little girl whose class held a mock election? She voted for Trump and was condemned, chastised and called a racist.

Oh, by the way, the little girl has one black parent and one white parent. To which one is she racist? What happened to school policies against bullying? I’m just asking, but this is just another example of why public schools are part of the problem.

I have lived through a number of elections, and it seems to be that hate and intolerance are more prevalent in those who cast an accusing finger at people like me.

Not to mention the fact that I’m ignorant to boot. Though I have a Master’s Degree I will confess to being ignorant because I didn’t succumb to the brainwashing and indoctrination of America’s public school system. It wasn’t easy — twelve years in primary and secondary followed by four years of college will turn most people into a stark raving socialist. I was the only student in my class who challenged the Marxist professor. The rest mindlessly drank the Kool-Aid though their brains were made receptive by their LSD fueled orgies.

I mean, look at what they teach kids today. Elementary students are encouraged to explore their sexual identity. What the hell is that?

Can we say homeschooling?

The Democrat Party wrote off Christians and white America long ago. That’s why 53% of white women voted for Trump. How could this be? I thought Trump was a vile, disgusting, hateful misogynist. Why, these women betrayed their sisters. They betrayed the cause. Susan B. Anthony must be turning over in her grave.

The New York Times profiled women who voted for Trump, and found that they were a diverse group of educated, professional, Christian women who didn’t buy the slandering Democrat Party narrative.

But this is what the Democrat Party does — it gains power by dividing us as a people. When my grandfather escaped the persecution of Nazi Germany — he came here, by the way, legally through Ellis Island — he would not permit German to be spoken in the home.

“We are Americans,” he would say. Not hyphenated-Americans, but truly united with the people of this nation.

Democrats do not see us that way. They divide the country by race, gender, sex orientation; and they pander to these various groups in order to gain and hold power.

And power is all they care about.

The Democrat Party has spearheaded an assault on traditional family values. Their allies, the LGBTQ-feminist cabal, have targeted what is pejoratively referred to as breeders — heterosexual men and women, husbands and wives; and the family unit that is the bedrock of our society. Men (especially white males) are vilified, and women who choose to stay home to rear their children are ridiculed.

An article in the USA Today opined that the women who voted for Trump were compliant with the institutional sexism that exists in America. They are subjugated by their desire to be attractive, to be looked at and to be complemented.

How condescending. How insulting. The USA Today is not fit to line my birdcage. In any case, to be a Christian or of heterosexual orientation is to be an enemy of the Progressive elites.

I found it interesting that the Democrat candidates quoted the Bible in their concession address. Here we have a woman who would permit the gruesome, horrific murder of a baby as it passes through the birth canal; and she would have appointed judges to rubber stamp her Progressive agenda. It’s so unconscionable that I don’t know how she sleeps at night — to be so hungry for power that she would approve infanticide to secure feminist support.

There’s a guy named Brandon who posts on a Christian website that I regularly visit. Anyhow, he is a Christian Democrat who believes that we can’t legislate morality; and he is perplexed by people like me who make a big deal out of abortion.

This is the other thing — Democrats can’t call murder … murder. It’s not abortion, but reproductive choice. Oh, abortion sounds too messy. Let’s call it free choice. This is Brandon’s attitude.

I have a special treat for y’all as you can hear Brandon’s call to The Narrow Path radio program on election day. This will make your blood boil. You can pick up the conversation at the 28:58 minute mark on the audio bar. Though the discussion begins earlier, I wanted to highlight this particular section which you can listen to here.

Brandon tells the host, Steve Gregg, that Christians should not enforce their faith upon unbelievers — that people have choice, or free will, to live as they choose; and Christians should not be concerned if women abort their babies.

Steve asked Brandon if government should have laws, or a police force. Brandon said, “I don’t know. No, because Christians shouldn’t carry the sword.”

Does Brandon believe in laws against murder? “God’s law,” he replied, “but not the government.”

Steve asked, “What if someone like Charles Manson was going house to house killing people. Should he be stopped?”

Brandon replied, “No, Jesus didn’t stop people.”

He went on to say that if everyone became Christian we wouldn’t need laws.

When Steve reminded him that the ordained role of government is to protect the innocent and punish evil-doers, Brandon said that Paul and Jesus disagreed. (See Romans 13:1–7.)

Friends, people like Brandon voted Democrat on election day.

One final thought. Two things struck me about the character of Donald Trump. First, his kids turned out pretty decent. In my book, that’s the mark of a good parent. Second, at one of the debates when he was being sliced and diced over his personal behavior he started to address the indiscretions of Bill Clinton; but he paused and said, “I won’t. I won’t because of who’s in the audience.”

Millennials who voted for the first time and are too young to remember — Trump, out of respect for Chelsea, did not bring up the infamous blue dress.

And isn’t it just a bit disingenuous to bang the drum ever so loudly that you are a defender of women’s rights unless the women are victims of your own husband’s infidelities?

It was a miracle that Trump even won. He overcame opposition not just from his own party but from Democrats, media outlets and Wall Street. Only one month before the election the Republican Party was in disarray, and some were asking Trump to withdraw.

On election night the news outlets — which are nothing more than a mouthpiece for the Democrat Party — were projecting a Democrat landslide. The New York Times pollster later admitted that he fudged the numbers.

After the dust settled, Trump easily surpassed the 270 electoral votes; his party retained control of the House and Senate; and Republicans captured 33 state houses and most of the state legislatures.

The lesson here is that God is sovereign, and His will shall be done. A miracle that Trump won? Well, the LORD doth work in mysterious ways although a house divided cannot stand.

Copyright © 2016 Messiah Gate